Padraic Reynolds slipping the dogs at the Dundalk & Dowdallshill coursing meeting in Dromiskin on St. Stephen's Day. (Pic: Arthur Kinahan)
It’s rare that the Jones kennel in Carrickmacross doesn’t come up trumps at the Dundalk & Dowdallshill coursing meeting. Among its biggest winners in the past have been Baroque and Figaro, both successful in the Corn Cuchullain.
The Corn treble wasn’t brought up this time around, but there was decent compensation. The Paddy Carroll Memorial Cup goes to the last surviving bitch in the feature event, and it was Darsup, trained by Laurance Jones, that outlasted the other six of her gender among the 16-strong entry, making it through to the semi-finals.
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Darsup is owned by the Wexford-born, Cavan-based Tom Walsh, and she ran a couple of fine courses before giving way to Killucan Pocket.
Victory in this course made the County Westmeath challenger Killucan, favourite for the final, but failing to make a show, the white-and-brindled was beaten a long way by the Ballymena runner, Barbican Blitz, who, having already scored in an all-aged event at Milltown Malbay, Co. Clare, has put himself in line for a place in the Champion Stakes at the National Meeting in Clonmel.
The Corn Cuchullain final was the climax of a curtailed meeting for which the three main stakes were each confined to 16 runners, and two others also had a reduced entry. The promoting club’s running ground at The Commons, Dromiskin, was again the venue, and the smaller than usual programme was run off with efficiency.
Another kennel, the one in Knockbridge presided over by the father and son combination of Gerry and Mark Callan, has also been in the winners’ enclosure, Judiligence winning the big prize four years ago. Sharp Sensation was the flag-waver this time, the son of Kyle Basil romping through the Heeney Workers’ Stake.
The final was an all-local affair, Danny Kerr’s Hyde Park Lane providing the opposition to the warm favourite. Four lengths separated them at the turn, with the Callan runner leading throughout.
The Oaks Trial Stake final was contested by two Armagh-owned runners, with victory going to Feede Lily, the property of Seán Gallogly, from Bessbrook, and trained in Meath by Seamus Murray.
The Derby Trial Stake winner has also got a base in The Royal County, representing another kennel which has also tasted Corn Cuchullain success in the past, Fingal Gosling and Fingal Dessie winning back-to-back titles in the early part of this century.
The home-bred Fingal Patrick, a four-length winner over Vincent Toner’s Glenvale Alf in the final, gives the Slane-based Pat Savage a sound chance of making progress at Clonmel in five weeks’ time.
Semi-finals: Killucan Pocket bt Darsup; Barbican Blitz bt Oakview Leigh. Final: Graham and Curtis Reid’s Barbican Blitz (Mafi Magic-Barbican Dice) by the Killucan Syndicate’s Killucan Pocket (Pocketrocketben-Vim And Vigour)
DERBY TRIAL STAKE
Semi-finals: Fingal Patrick bt Feede River; Glenvale Alf bt Killucan Dan. Final: Pat Savage’s Fingal Patrick (Blades Of Hope-Fingal Sansa) bt Vincent Toner’s Glenvale Alf (Mulboy King-Beer Belle)
OAKS TRIAL STAKE
Semi-finals: Shaunanne Bonito bt Budore Oak; Feede Lily bt Romola. Final: Seán Galloghly’s Feede Lily (Newinn Wonder-Feede Blond) bt Stephen and Terence Gollogly’s Shaunanne Bonito (Adios Alonso-Shaunanne Flyer)
Semi-finals: Sharp Sensation bt Ians Lad; Hyde Park Lane bt Channon Wonder. Final: Mark and Gerry Callan’s Sharp Sensation (Kyle Basil-Character Witness) bt Danny Kerr’s Hyde Park Lane (Brick Lane-Fane Emyor)
Final: Myles Kavanagh and Seamus Murray’s Its So Easy (Mafi Magic-Rock The Boat) walk-over; Amy and Dean O’Donnell’s Along Came Taxi (Adios Alonso-Laytown Girl) withdrawn